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Iran consists of mountainous rims surrounding high interior basins. The main mountain chain is Zagros Mountains, a series of parallel ridges interspersed with plains that bisect the country from northwest to southeast. Many peaks in the Zagros exceed 3,000 metres (9,843 ft) above sea level, and in the south-central region of the country there are at least five peaks that are over 4,000 metres (13,123 ft). As the Zagros continue into south-eastern Iran, the average elevation of the peaks declines dramatically to under 1,500 metres (4,921 ft). Another chain of mountains in northern part of the country is Alborz Mountains. Volcanic Mount Damavand, 5,610 metres (18,406 ft), located in the centre of the Alborz, is not only the country's highest peak but also the highest mountain on the Eurasian landmass west of the Hindu Kush. The centre of Iran consists of several closed basins that collectively are referred to as the Central Plateau. The average elevation of this plateau is about 900 metres (2,953 ft), but several of the mountains that tower over the plateau exceed 3,000 metres (9,843 ft). The eastern part of the plateau is covered by two salt deserts, the Dasht-e Kavir (Great Salt Desert) and the Dasht-e Lut. 

Iran has only two expanses of lowlands: the Khuzestan Plain in the southwest and the Caspian Sea coastal plain in the north. The former is a roughly triangular-shaped extension of the Mesopotamia plain and averages about 160 kilometres (99 mi) in width. It extends for about 120 kilometres (75 mi) inland, barely rising a few meters above sea level, then meets abruptly with the first foothills of the Zagros. Much of the Khuzestan plain is covered with marshes. The Caspian plain is both longer and narrower. It extends for some 640 kilometres (400 mi) along the Caspian shore, but its widest point is less than 50 kilometres (31 mi), while at some places less than 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) separate the shore from the Alborz foothills. The Persian Gulf coast south of Khuzestan and the Gulf of Oman coast have no real plains because the Zagros in these areas come right down to the shore. 

For more information on government contact details, please see the following link: 4.1 Iran Government Contact List 


Seasonal Effects on Transport 

Transport 

Comments 

From (month) to (month) 

Primary Road Transport 

The mountainous regions in the northern and western part of the country are affected by snowfalls. This increases the risk of accidents and slows down the traffic. During that season the vehicles are equipped with chains, which are used if and when necessary. The road maintenance services are equipped with snowploughs.  

November to February  

Secondary Road Transport 

Roads leading to Afghan & Iraqi refugee camps are affected by snowfalls. Tehran-Qazvin-Zanjan-Tabriz highway (main route to west-north west of Iran) is mostly covered by snow during the winter time. Furthermore, the side roads, destined to the refugee settlements in west of Iran (Uromiyeh-Kermanshah/Zanjan-Sardasht), are also affected by cold weather of winter 

November to February 

Rail Transport 

Lack of wagons due to less importation of cotton from CIS countries to Iran. During September to April more wagons are available. Also during Iranian new year (March) there might be wagon congestion or less availability of wagons. Priority is being given to passengers rather than cargo. 

May to August 

Air Transport 

Tehran has two main airportsMehrabad and Imam Khomeini (IKA). Mehrabad is located inside Tehran and using for domestic flights and Hadj. IKA is using for international flights. During Hadj time there is congestion in Mehrabad Airport and recently in IKA (Imam Khomeini Airport) for airlines to Najaf.  

25 Sep to end of October (Hadj period) 

Whole year for Najaf 

Distance Matrix 

Distances from Capital City to Major Towns (km) 

 

Tehran 

Tabriz 

Isfahan 

Shiraz 

Mashhad 

Hamedan 

Yazd 

Kerman 

Tehran 

- 

599 

439 

924 

894 

337 

677 

1,038 

Bandar Abbas 

1,334 

1,933 

975 

619 

1,374 

1,421 

657 

485 

Bandar Anzali 

365 

455 

804 

1,289 

1,107 

441 

1,042 

1,403 

Bandar Imam 

1,049 

1,250 

791 

515 

1,943 

813 

937 

1,086 

Bazargan 

879 

280 

1,318 

1,803 

1,773 

889 

1,556 

1,917 

Taybad (Dogharoun BorderPoint to Afghanistan) 

1,118 

1,717 

1,446 

1,598 

224 

1,455 

1,146 

1,113 

Piranshahr (Bashmagh border point To Iraq) 

774 

296 

1,014 

1,500 

1,668 

551 

1,315 

1,676 

 

Travel Time from Capital City to Major Towns (hrs) 

 

Tehran 

Tabriz 

Isfahan 

Shiraz 

Mashhad 

Hamedan 

Yazd 

Kerman 

Tehran 

 - 

7 h 

5 h 

11 h 

10 h 

4 h 

7 h 

12 h 

Bandar Abbas 

16 h 

22 h 

11 h 

8 h 

17 h 

16 h 

10 h 

6 h 

Bandar Anzali 

5 h 

7 h 

10 h 

`16 h 

14 h 

6 h 

13 h 

17 h 

Bandar Imam 

13 h 

16 h 

11 h 

7 h 

20 h 

10 h 

12 h 

17 h 

Bazargan 

10 h 

3 h 

14 h 

21 h 

20 h 

10 h 

17 h 

20 h 

Taybad (Dogharoun BorderPoint to Afghanistan) 

12 h 

19 h 

16 h 

17 h 

3 h 

16 h 

13 h 

12 h 

Piranshahr (Bashmagh border point To Iraq) 

9 h 

4 h 

11 h 

16 h 

18 h 

6 h 

14 h 

18 h 

Road Security 

The road condition and security is at good level. The roads are maintained and supervised by the Ministry of Road and Transportation. There are speed control cameras set up on roads especially on the highways. The traffic police officers patrolling 24/7. There are security check points on the roads between most cities and villages.

Weighbridges and Axle Load Limits 

Axle load limits 

LCA Country 

Truck with 2 axles 

18 mt 

Truck with 3 axles 

26 mt 

Truck with 4 axles 

34 mt 

Semi-trailer with 3 axles 

26 mt 

Semi-trailer with 4 axles 

32 mt 

Semi-trailer with 5 axles 

36 mt 

Semi-trailer with 6 axles 

40 mt 

Truck & drawbar trailer with 4 axles 

18 mt 

Truck & drawbar trailer with 5 axles 

18 mt 

Truck & drawbar trailer with 6 axles 

18 mt 

Truck & drawbar trailer with 7 axles 

18 mt 

Road Class and Surface Conditions 

Iran has a total area of 1,648,195 km2 including 30 provinces. All provinces, capital and main cities, villages and urban areas are connected via roads. Iran roads are also connected to international roads via different borders at north, west and east of country. In total there are 83,485 km including main roads, highways, freeways and access roads. Besides, there are about 140,000 km inner-town and suburb roads.  

All freeways and highways are asphalted and surfaces are in good condition. Road marking and guard rails are under maintenance and supervision of Ministry of Roads & ConstructionOther main roads are also asphalted, marking and guardrails are in good conditions as well as routine maintenances of surface and accessories. All roads are under control of Traffic Police and security wise are under control of Security Police Force. Around 28,000 km of inner-town and suburb roads are not asphalted but the surface condition is good and all are accessible for small trucks and vehicles.  

In all highways, main roads and freeways the rules of speed control is under supervision of traffic police and all highways and freeways are equipped with speed-cameras. All trucks, transit trailers are equipped to GPS so that it is possible for traffic police to control location and speed of transit trucks.  

Classification 

Administering Agency 

Network Length 

Freeway 

Ministry of Road and Transportation 

2,158 km 

Highway 

Ministry of Road and Transportation 

13,519  km 

Main Road 

Ministry of Road and Transportation 

24,285 km 

Access Road 

Ministry of Road and Transportation 

43,513 km 

Inner-town Road (Not Asphalted) 

Ministry of Road and Transportation 

27,867 km 

Suburb Road (Asphalted)  

Ministry of Road and Transportation 

112,308 km 

Bridges 

Ghotour Bridge is a railway bridge in Khoy County, West Azarbaijan Province, Iran, over the Ghotour River. It is an arch bridge, was completed in 1970, and has a length of 442.9 m (1453 ft.) with the largest span being 223.1 m (732 ft.) The Veresk Bridge (Varisk) is located in Veresk District of Savad Kooh County, in Mazandaran province. The bridge stands at 110 m (360 ft) tall and its arch measures 66 m (217 ft) long. The bridge is serving the Trans-Iranian Railway network in Northern Iran. Band-e KaisarFelezi Bridge, Ghari Bridge, Joui Bridge, Khaju Bridge, Khodaafarin Bridges, Pol SangiQarah Soo Bridge, Shahrestan bridge, Si-o-se Pol, Urmia Lake Bridge, Vahid Bridge.

International Corridors Leading to the Country 

Russia, Iran and India signed an agreement laying out a vision for a North-South Transport Corridor. The corridor stretches from ports in India across the Arabian Sea to the southern Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, where goods then transit Iran and the Caspian Sea to ports in Russia’s sector of the Caspian. From there, the route stretches along the Volga River via Moscow to northern Europe. 

Officially opened in 2000 by Russian, Iranian and Indian representatives, the transport corridor (ITC) South - North connects the European community countries via Russia - Iran - India to the South and Southeast Asia states and the Middle East. ITC is a combined railway - waterway route passing through: port Mumbai (India) - Arabian sea port Bandar-Abbas (Iran), further through the Iranian soil to the Caspian port of Enzeli (Iran) – across the Caspian sea to port Olya (Astrakhan, Russia) – by Volga-Baltic system of the rivers and channels to river ports of Moscow and seaport in Saint Petersburg (Baltic sea) or port Murmansk (Kola Gulf), and further to the Western Europe. 

Customs Clearance

For more information on customs in Iran, please see the following link: 1.3 Iran Customs Information